This is Jonathan’s letter from last week which couldn’t be circulated on the Newsletter. We include it this week in particular memory of Joyce Henson whose Service of Thanksgiving will be held at the Church of St James, Birdham at 2.00pm on Wednesday 6th June.
This month sees the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass during which hundreds of people took part in an organised trespass in protest of access rights to the general public. It’s hard to believe that many were arrested and imprisoned as a consequence of their peaceful rambling protest.
It certainly stirred public opinion and is recognised as contributing to the formation of the first National Park in 1951 and the promise of fuller access for the British public to their nation’s beautiful countryside.
Still today huge areas of our national countryside are ‘out of bounds’ as a result of obdurate landowners but, rest assured, today’s Rogation Sunday ramblers will respect the boundaries imposed on us!
But boundaries matter. We all need them (even if only to know, as in the case of our right to roam, that they can be crossed). Clear boundaries are essential if we are to feel secure and ‘know our place’ – and that’s especially true for children.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ offers each of us an opportunity to experience what it is like to have the boundaries of our day marked by prayer. How will choose to shape your life over these days when we ‘Pledge to Pray’? Will you come to know that security a pattern of prayer can bring?
It’s with particular sadness that we heard of the news of dear Joyce Henson’s death on Thursday. Joyce was a very special Christian lady and one for whom a life patterned by prayer was such an inspiration to so many. Her passing also marks a passing over the boundaries of this earthly life that she may now share in God’s eternal life.
That’s the ‘Great Trespass’. Ascension Day marks the moment when, for each of us, the man who walked the highways and byways of our human lives was lifted up and crossed over for us, that we too may have a share – ‘abide in’ – the life of our heavenly Father.
May Joyce rest in peace and yes, may she rise in glory!
O God the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven; we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Chris is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
We continue to pray for:
Clemmie, Janet & David Drake, Peter Barnett, Snowdrop, Brian O’Brien, Donald Emerick and Baby Hugo.
And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.
Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP HC at West Wittering
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Sarah Manouch’s sermon theme will be ‘Heads it’s Matthias’. At West Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ sermon theme will be “The Examen”. At Itchenor (11.00) Sarah Manouch’s sermon theme will be ‘Tails you Lose”
6.00 Evensong at West Wittering
Wednesday 16th May 10.00 Commemoration St Matthias at West Wittering
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon.
13th May – Sunday after Ascension Day
Acts 1. 15-17, 21-26; 1 John 5. 9-13; John 17. 6-19
1 Peter 4. 7-11; John 15. 26-16.4a
Isaiah 61; Luke 4. 14-21
20th May – Pentecost
Ezekiel 37. 1-14; Acts 2. 1-21; John 15. 26-27; 16. 4b-15
Acts 2. 1-11; John 14. 15-31a
Ezekiel 36. 22-28; Acts 2. 22-38